In the 1st quarter of 2020, postal services recorded a reduction of 8.8% in total traffic and 3.3% in revenue, resulting in an increase in average revenue per item of 6.1%
In the 1st quarter of 2020, total postal service traffic, which reached 163.9 million items, decreased 8.8% year-on-year due to the decreased traffic in letters, editorial mail and direct mail. This was partially offset by the 8.2% increase in parcel traffic. This trend in growth of parcels began in 2018.
Postal collection reached 15.9 postal items per inhabitant and per quarter, having decreased by 1.5 items compared to the same quarter last year.
The revenue generated by providers legally qualified to provide postal services totalled around EUR 152.9 million, 3.3% lower than in the 1st quarter of 2019. The decrease in revenue was due to revenue from letters, editorial mail and direct mail, which fell between 6.4% and 13.4%. Revenue from parcels increased by 4.9%.
Average revenue per item increased by 6.1% year-on-year. Unit revenue from letters, editorial mail and direct mail increased by 3.4%, 0.2% and 2.3% respectively, while unit revenue from parcels decreased 3.1%.
State of emergency initially caused a sharp drop in parcel traffic and then a significant rise
It is estimated that domestic parcel traffic fell by around 20% in the week when the state of emergency was declared. Since then, traffic has recovered (except for Easter week which had one fewer working day), growing on average by 7%/week.
Traffic was predominantly domestic correspondence
Of the total items distributed, 95.9% were destined for the domestic market, while the remaining 4.1% were sent to other countries. The relative weight of domestic and international traffic has remained constant over the years.
Letters represented 78.5% of postal traffic, while editorial mail and direct mail represented 7.2% and 6.8% respectively. The weight of parcels in the total traffic stood at 7.5%.
The universal service represented by 79.7% of the total traffic and 59.4% of revenue
Around 79.7% of the traffic and 59.4% of revenue corresponded to postal services covered by the universal service (US). The weight of the US in total traffic fell by 2.2 p.p. since the 1st quarter of 2019.
Shares per provider
The CTT group had a share of around 87.5% of total postal traffic, 2.2 percentage points less than in the 1st quarter of 2019. The CTT group had a share of around 97.1% of the traffic covered by the scope of the US.
The number of employees fell by 0.4%
In the 1st quarter of 2020, there were around 14.5 thousand workers providing postal services. The number of employees fell by 0.4% year-on-year.
The number of network access points rose by 1.6%
The number of network access points rose by 1.6%, the number of distribution centres fell by 1.2% and the vehicle fleet rose by 1.7%. This increase in access points was driven by a 3.9% drop in the number of CTT access points combined with an increase in the number of access points of other providers. This was mainly due to the start of operations of a new collection and delivery network run by a provider. The number of CTT post offices rose by 0.7% year-on-year, while the number of postal agencies fell by 1.0%1.
As for other material resources (wholly owned by the US concessionaire), there was a slight year-on-year increase in the number of post office boxes and decreases in the number of letterboxes (-0.2%) and number of outlets where only stamps can be purchased (-6.3%).
1 The numbers of CTT post offices and postal agencies relating to the 1st quarter of 2020 refer to 12 March 2020.